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Change of practices and mindsets that SMEs need for their digital transformation.

Updated: Jan 1



Small and medium-sized businesses can explore cost-effective applications to benefit from the advantages of digital transformation by using their budgets in the most effective way. It is also possible to create a realistic digital transformation strategy based on the organization's corporate goals.


SME owners often worry that digital transformation will increase operating costs. However, experts state that while these efforts may be costly, they can also be the basis of a valuable investment.

Now, let's focus on examining cost-effective digital transformation practices for small and medium-sized businesses.

We observed how digital transformation differs according to business size.


 

Large companies emphasize that digital transformation is a critical component of a well-defined strategy for its successful implementation.

On the other hand, small and medium-sized businesses believe that digital transformation requires a huge effort for small businesses with limited budgets.


In this case, it makes sense to focus on the perspective of large organizations. Because digital transformation and best practices play a critical role in ensuring early-stage startups and fast and efficient production, minimizing unnecessary investments and saving total cost of ownership.


Digital transformation is one of the most complex terms that increases the complexity of the business world and carries different meanings for different institutions. For example, for some businesses, moving their brick-and-mortar business to online platforms may be a path to digital transformation, while for others, adopting AI-powered chatbots or advanced data analytics technologies may mean transforming the way they do business in a more fundamental way.


 

Digital transformation represents how an organization rethinks how it uses technology, people, and business processes to profoundly transform business performance. The main purpose of digital transformation is to create, update or replace existing business processes, procedures, workflows and models with digital technologies. To gain competitive advantage and achieve long-term success, companies are moving towards creating value, increasing efficiency and streamlining corporate operations by digitalizing their business. The digital transformation strategy that an organization will follow is determined depending on its goals and the challenges it faces.


Why Should the Importance of Digital Transformation for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Be Emphasized?

There is one truth that everyone agrees on: The most effective way to overcome current business challenges is digital transformation. Digitally strong companies have shown how effective this is by improving their supply chains, marketing strategies and sales processes. This market is expected to have a value of $2.3 trillion in 2023.

According to a research conducted for small and medium-sized businesses, the main advantages of digital transformation for SMEs are:


- Attracting new customers.

- Maintaining competitiveness.

- Increasing efficiency.

- Providing cost savings.


According to Deloitte's data, digitally mature small and medium-sized businesses enjoy benefits such as increased revenue, higher customer satisfaction, increased staff engagement and higher product quality.


Additionally, 42% of organizations believe that digital transformation will help change the rules of the game for SMEs. This shows that digital transformation significantly increases the performance gap against businesses that cannot keep up with digitalization.


 

The importance of digital transformation on budget for small and medium-sized businesses;


It emphasizes that businesses should optimize their digital assets in the most effective way. For digital transformation to be effective, choosing best practices to simplify business processes by increasing return on investment is a critical step.

Four basic digital transformation practices for SMEs:

  1. Determine and Focus on Your Business Goals: It is clear that digital transformation requires a different strategy for every business. Therefore, it is critical that you understand your organization's unique needs and barriers. You can gain this understanding by using tools such as business process modeling to identify challenges and potential risks in your business processes. Then, once you understand these requirements, it is important to determine your priorities. You should not make the mistake of thinking that digital transformation must change everything at the same time. Rather, you can plan changes by identifying priority issues and proceeding step by step.

  2. Trust Your Stakeholders and Customers: Digital transformation, although it is about technology, is not just about technology. People are the key components of successful digital transformation. Therefore, it is important to involve all your stakeholders in the process. These stakeholders may consist of different departments, vendors and decision makers. When you introduce new technologies, differing opinions and concerns may arise. Therefore, it is important to involve your stakeholders and take their opinions into account.

  3. Focus on Data and Accuracy: It is true that data is valuable, but it is also necessary to derive meaningful insights from your data. You must leverage your data to fully understand the needs of your partners, vendors, and customers. One of the challenges of data usage for SMBs is using data effectively as the size and complexity of data increases. Therefore, you should analyze the data by combining it in a central system and continuously improve it to provide better service to your customers. Low-cost business intelligence tools offer a viable option for SMEs to analyze data effectively.

  4. Integrate Technology and Systems: Seamless communication between different systems within the organization is extremely important for a successful digital transformation. However, many SMBs make the common mistake of implementing multiple different systems to meet their needs. This creates a complex system and makes collaboration, upgrades, and maintenance difficult. A better approach for digital transformation is to look for technologies and solutions that are compatible with your existing systems, have broad capabilities, or can be customized at scale. You can also use APIs to facilitate communication between business systems.

Digital transformation for SMEs may seem complicated at first, but the key is to set your big goals, start small, and take small steps to change your business processes. Following the best practices mentioned above will help you implement appropriate technologies to increase efficiency, reduce costs and deliver better customer experiences. Digital transformation can support SMEs to grow and gain competitive advantage.


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